Three Decades of Terry Adkins at the Tang

  • Installation view, Terry Adkins Recital, Tang Museum, 2012
    Upper-right: Darkwater Record, 2003-2008, recorders, bust, mixed media, installation dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist Lower-left: Still, 2000, steel, wood, glass, whiskey, 17 x 33 inches, Hood Museum of Art, Darthmouth College, purchased through the Guernsey Center Moore 1904 Fund; S.2003.39

Former Studio Museum in Harlem artist-in-residence, Terry Adkins, brings together thirty years of work for his new installation at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The works of art in Recital pay homage to the legacies of Bessie Smith, W. E. B. Du Bois, John Brown, Matthew Henson and John Coltrane, among others. Adkins’s creative research sheds light on lesser-known aspects of their biographies, such as Jimi Hendrix’s military training as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne, or the question of Beethoven’s Moorish ancestry. In his sculpture, photography, and video, Adkins transforms and re-purposes a range of found materials, archival imagery, and reclaimed actions in a process that he calls potential disclosure.

Under the auspices of the Lone Wolf Recital Corps–a sound-based performance collaborative founded in Zurich in 1986–Adkins and fellow corps members stage multimedia happenings that interact with and employ architecture, sculpture, video, music, spoken word, costumes, and recorded sound. For Adkins, these "recitals" provide an ideal platform for recovering and reenacting the dynamic tenor of the subjects concerned.